Fall Fireplace Mantel | Painted Gourds & Tissue Paper Leaves

First of all, if you have yet to check out DIY Playbook, do so ASAP!  Casey & Bridget are both super sweet with mad skills in the DIY department!  Their bubbly personalities paired with their creative ideas make them ones to watch in blogland!   So of course  I was super excited when they contacted me about their Fall Fantasy Draft and when they gave me the task of Craft Expert, I knew there were some big shoes to fill.
 In wanting to break outside the box with my fall fireplace, I decided to go brighter than your traditional rustic fall color pallette (which don't get me wrong, I still love).  Dubbing this Fall Fireplace Mantel a Colorfall one 
(see what I did there?! ~ super cheesy!) 

For paint I hit up my local Lowes and ordered up a range of Valspar Paint Samples.  I love these half pints because you can pick out any Valspar color swatch and have it mixed right there in store.  The possibilities are endless and for under $3 a piece it gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
Colors left to right:  
Roasted Chestnut, Scarlet Sun, Autumn Enchantment, Toasted Pumpkin, Vivid Orange)

Rather than traditional pumpkins, I decided to go with Butter Nut Squash, I preferred their smaller size and they ended up being cheaper than pumpkins at my local Farmer's Market.  There really is no science in the painting, just slap it on using a foam brush.  Some gourds I painted completely, others only a stripe.
To ensure a vivid color I gave each two-three coats, allowing drying time in between.  After they were dry I also added Gold Washi Tape for a metallic pop!

For the leaves I used Tissue Paper!  While you could go with paper, I preferred the flimsy texture of the tissue paper.  Again, I used a foam brush to paint on very thin coats of paint.  I alternated between colors, allowed it to dry, then went over each with another thin coat of paint, using a different color on top this time ~ this will give your leaves more dimension.  Note, tissue paper is delicate, if you glob on too much paint it will tear, so be gentle, but know a couple tears here and there are inevitable.
Once the the paint is dry, I cut out leaves then used double sided tape to attach them to real sticks (just pick some up out of the yard ~ for free!)  For the branches attached to the fireplace I just adhered with tape ~ super easy!


With my leftover tissue paper I cut strips and added them to thrift store vases.
Again, using Gold Washi Tape to give a finished look.

After making my Anthropologie Inspired DIY Tee-Pee Napkins, I decided to enlarge my Tee-Pee design.  If you can draw a triangle, you can draw a Tee-Pee!  All I used was a brown Crayola Marker, then framed it in an $8 thrift store frame.


So there you have it, a Colorfall Fireplace Mantel!
Be sure to check out DIY Playbook all this week for more 
Fall Fantasy Draft Posts from other great bloggers!